ALL ABOUT ALICE

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents -

Alice Springs is on the map for moun­tain bik­ers thanks to the fun and flowy nat­u­ral trails. But as we find out – there’s way more to come to the Red Cen­tre.

re­la­tion­ship with deal­ers around Aus­tralia, but also look­ing after car­bon re­pairs and paint for bike brands. Sasha as­sures me that while they get de­liv­er­ies and work from around the coun­try – cus­tomers also lie be­yond our shores. “We had a gen­tle­man fly over from Perth this week after email­ing us. Most of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion is via email, after con­tact via so­cial me­dia or word of mouth. We do have in­ter­na­tional clients as well. We had a bike sent from Qatar last year. Some­one had tried to do a paint scheme and they just couldn’t achieve it. They sent it over and we man­aged to get the out­come he was after.” It’s clear that the team likes a chal­lenge. And so that’s what I set them.

THE BRIEF

My 2013 Bianchi Methanol 29 FS was my pride and joy for many years, ac­com­pa­ny­ing me to South Africa, Europe and just about ev­ery state or ter­ri­tory of Aus­tralia. I cracked it 2 years ago and knew I wanted to get it re­paired one day. There were too many mem­o­ries at­tached. But would it be a case of re­pair and re­paint to orig­i­nal? No thanks. Lau­ren is one of two de­sign­ers who work at Paint My Bike, but she came from a dif­fer­ent de­sign back­ground. “I was mainly work­ing in cor­po­rate iden­tity, brand­ing, web­sites and pub­li­ca­tion be­fore this. It’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent. Ev­ery­thing I’ve known and learnt I’ve al­most had to throw out the win­dow. Lay­ing out de­cals on bikes we usu­ally scale ev­ery­thing pro­por­tion­ately, but on bikes they are stretched and warped. The tub­ing and the shapes and the con­tours mean that there is usu­ally no sim­ple job, each bike is dif­fer­ent.” Al­ready I can sense she is a per­fec­tion­ist, and that’s an air that is ap­par­ent in the whole fa­cil­ity. From re­pair, to the paint job de­sign to the paint it­self – noth­ing is go­ing out half done. Lau­ren is of­ten tasked with de­sign­ing paint schemes and de­cals to re­store a frame to orig­i­nal, or colour match­ing for re­paired swing arms, or even match­ing a colour scheme of a pro’s bike for a fan – I gave her an al­most clean slate. In this case, I asked for some­thing in the new

ce­leste (that aqua green that Bianchi is known for) and with a mod­ern de­sign. Lau­ren pro­duced some de­sign mock ups, and we went over them in the of­fice. But they’re set up to do custom de­sign work no mat­ter where you are. “It’s al­ways nice work­ing with clients, along­side them. If a cus­tomer walks in and wants a custom de­sign that’s great! But of­ten it is done via email and send­ing re­vi­sions of de­signs. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the big­gest thing for us. If we have that down pat we can do the rest. The painters can do just about any­thing.” Lau­ren is also hand cut­ting de­cals for the frame so the de­sign can be painted on, work­ing on her own de­sign that will cover the top tube and be on the in­side of the swing arms. It’s a de­sign that won’t be seen any­where else, some­thing made by hand just for my bike that car­ries 3 years of trail rid­ing and rac­ing mem­o­ries. That cre­ativ­ity is some­thing that drives ev­ery­one’s work at Paint My Bike. “Com­ing to work ev­ery day and do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent is so cool. It’s a new chal­lenge ev­ery day, do­ing the cre­ative side of things and the more tech­ni­cal as­pects too. It is awe­some to see the fin­ished prod­uct and see peo­ple re­ally happy with their bikes.”

RE­STORED TO GLORY

The end re­sult is greater than I could have imag­ined. Marks and scratches on a frame all tell a story. But not only is the new paint job unique, it’s a Bianchi in ce­leste and that means some­thing. No longer do I look at some scratches and gouges from rid­ing, rac­ing and travel and have a lit­tle re­gret – in­stead this bike has been lov­ingly re­stored, via the hands of at least three dif­fer­ent peo­ple who ex­cel at their craft.

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